Category: Uncategorized

  • Twitter Palooza Rules of Engagement for #RMUG19

    Twitter Palooza Rules of Engagement for #RMUG19

    Twitter Palooza — #rmug19

    RMUG Twitter Game Rules of Engagement

    The RMUG conference is almost here. RMUG “Twitterpalooza” will give attendees the opportunity to interact via social media to participate in quests to earn daily prizes as well as entries which enters game participants in the grand prize drawing. Start earning credit toward great prizes in the days leading up to RMUG 2019.  Tweet I am going to #rmug19 to earn your first Twitterpalooza entry.

    #RMUG “Twitterpalooza” will give conference attendees the chance to win prizes through social media challenges. In addition, participants can gain entries into a grand prize drawing. The goal of Twitterpalooza is to provide conference attendees additional opportunities to collect/archive/share notes, make meaningful social collisions, and have a little fun.

    For each entry earned the game participant will be entered into the grand prize drawing (to be announced throughout the conference). Prizes will be chosen using

    1)  Early Bird

    Early Bird Tweeters can tweet “ I am going to #RMUG19″ or “I made it to #RMUG19” + #earlybird for a Grand prize entry

    Start earning credit toward great prizes in the days leading up to RMUG 2019.  Tweet “I am going to #RMUG19 #earlybird” to earn your first Twitterpalooza Grand Prize entry.  

    Most Pre-Conference Tweets Top 2 = PreConference Prize  + Grand prize entry

    2) Daily Games


    The Great Retweeted

    The most retweets at the end of the day rewards the original Tweeter. All tweets must use #RMUG19 to be counted. Top 2 Great Retweeted earn a gift card and and a Grand prize entry


    Top Conversationalist

    Top 5 per day  (Only one entry will be awarded per person, if someone is top conversationalist multiple days our grand prize entries will go to the next 5) This is a ranking based on a combination of tweets, mentions, and retweets.  Grand prize entry


    Top Tweeter

    Top 3 per day  (Only one entry will be awarded per person, if someone is top tweeter multiple days our awards will go to the next 3) Grand prize entry + LCCC


    Local Flavor Prize

    Pic in Front of any business/ restaurant gets an Entry into the grand prize drawing Examples: Pic in Front of Jackalope, pic with the Sir Barton Memorial

    To earn an entry, a picture must include: you + #rmug19 + #RMUGlocalflavor + #wyoming

    3) Random Trivia

    Keep an eye out for spontaneous questions asked by @DutroJoe . Trivia questions could range from Jackalope history to computing  topics and everything in between. Watch for hashtags #RandomTrivia accompanied with #RMUG19.

    3 Random Trivia prize gift cards will be awarded per day. Must use #RandomRmugTrivia and #rmug19 hashtags when answering questions.

    4) Vendor Bender

    We love our Vendors! The first 5 no 11 people to take a picture with all of our on site vendors will earn a prize and an entry in the grand prize drawing for $100 Amazon Card.  Must use #RMUGVendor #rmug19 + Vendor Twitter Handle for each picture.

    Here are your on-site RMUG 2019 vendors:

    Touchnet  = @TouchNet
    Fox & Weaver Consulting = @foxweavconsult
    Lift Team Coaching = @LiftTeamCoach
    Star Rez = @StarRez
    Shamrock Solutions = @ShamSolutions
    Ellucian = @EllucianInc
    Kaufman Hall = @kaufmanhall
    ZeeMee = @zeemeeapp
    Ferrelli = @Ferrilli1
    Softdocs = @Softdocs
    Synoptic = @SynoptixSocial
    Prophix = @prophix

    5) The Big Kahuna:  Where’s Edie?

    If you see @ediemiller12  in the hallway, Tweet  a picture of her and you  + “I saw Edie at #RMUG19 + @ediemiller12  to earn a badge and an entry into the Grand Prize Drawing.

    5) RMUG Buddies  #rmugbuddy

    Where’s Your RMUG Buddy?

    Look for the your kindred #rmug19 attendee buddy with the same number or picture on your conference lanyard and earn a gift card + an entry in the grand prize drawing by tweeting  “Here’s my #rmug19 #rmugbuddy

    Get Your Prizes

    At the end of the last session on Friday we will aggregate and daily prizes will be awarded and announced via Twitter. They can be picked up before the end of sessions on Friday at 12:45.

    Entries for Grand Prize Ends after the final session Tuesday. At the end of the last session on Tuesday we will aggregate and daily prizes will be awarded and announced via Twitter. The Grand Prize winner will be announced during the wrap-up period. All prizes must be picked up on Friday by 12:45pm

    Thursday Giveaways

    1 Most Pre conference Tweets = Coffee Mug

    TBD Random Trivia  

    3 = Top Daily Tweeters  (1st Backpack, 2nd Blanket & 3rd T Shirt)

    2 = Top Retweeted Tweets  (Winners choice of shirt or mug)

    Friday Giveaways

    TBD = Random Trivia

    3 = Top Daily Tweeters  (1st Hot Drink Tumbler, 2nd T Shirt & 3rd Coffee Cup)

    2 = Top Retweeted Tweets  (Stadium Seat & T Shirt)

    2 = Completing Vendor Bendor (1st Backpack, 2nd Blanket & 3rd T Shirt)

  • The 20 Must Follow Community College CEOs on Twitter 2019

    The 20 Must Follow Community College CEOs on Twitter 2019

    Last year I said I didn’t know if I would make the list again, but guess what? Tis the season for the AACC Annual Conference and my list is back for the 6th year. I was unsure what my time would be like this past year as I was publishing my first book but that turned out great and my concerns about being overbooked (Yes, I did use the same pun as last year) turn out to not be that big of a deal.  I now have a few books available on Amazon and continue to compile my research and will publish my second nonfiction story in 2019.  

    Now back to Twitter.   It seems in the past couple years; prominent public figures have leveraged Twitter more than ever to communicate with their constituents.  I hope that publishing this list again provides additional insight into how the modern community college president informs. Political figures on both sides of the political spectrum,  whether you agree with them or not have changed how this tool is used and how they distribute information. I would encourage anyone who is in a position of leadership to continue to learn how to use this tool strategically.      There is no doubt that these public figures have changed how information is pushed to the public forever.

    There were several retirements this past year, and in spite of that, the list has grown again.  Some of you recall I only did the Top 12 Tweeting Presidents in 2014, because barely that many community college presidents were tweeting at the time.  My total list of community college presidents tweeting, even with retirements and a couple which have stopped tweeting, the list sits at 87 this year.  What is even more amazing is that I am sure I missed someone.

    I am going to give kudos to one of the retirees, Ronnie Nettles, who tweeted as president for Copiah-Lincoln Community College.  He was on my list every year and did a marvelous job of communicating with his constituents. I wish him the very best. I am going to note of two of my favorite tweeting community college leaders who are not included in the top twenty list.  I chose to include only presidents of individual institutions rather than state systems so Dr. Kris Williams, Chancellor (Chief Academic Officer) for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, and Dr. Jim Henderson,  President of the University of Louisiana System, are not on the list.  With that said, “they do Twitter right,” and I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Henderson this past, so it is a privilege to recognize him here.

    I am again confident this very social group of community college presidents will keep everyone informed on the happenings at the 2019 annual @aacc meetings just as they keep their respective institutions informed via social media. The presidents listed are on the list because they use Twitter to create a unique social relationship with their campus constituents.  I use a formula which I developed in 2014 which takes into account factors beyond the number of tweets. A couple of years ago I tweaked it slightly as Twitter now allows you to create Moments.  So presidents who have Twitter moments get points for using that part of the resource as well.  I also give Kent Points. Those are for stuff I like such as having fly-fishing listed in their profile.  Fly-fishing hasn’t helped anyone get on the must follow list, but hey it is my list so I might as well have some fun with it!  I also must confess Dr. Linda Lujan, from Lamar Community College in Southeast Colorado, got a Kent Point because LCC was my first encounter with higher education when I was a high school sophomore or junior attending business contests hosted on that campus.  I certainly didn’t know what a treasure that institution is to SE Colorado or what a service the Community College provides throughout this country of ours. Therefore I was very excited to add Dr. Lujan to the list. She also, “does Twitter right.”

    In its 6th year  I continue to think the categories surrounding the cumulative data is beginning to shed some light on how this tool is used for communication by these presidents, so I have continued to categorizing usage as follows:

    1. The Student Helper – They seem to focus on using the tool to engage with students
    2. The Lurker –  Lots of likes and retweets.  They don’t tweet a lot, but they are watching
    3. The College Booster  – Lot’s of tweeting about college events. It is obvious they love supporting encouraging their college constituents via Twitter
    4. The Undecided – Very inconsistent both in volume and content.  It is obvious they only log on every once in a while and are probably thinking…”Is this a good idea or not”
    5. The Shotgun Approach  – The content is quite varied.  Lot’s of college stuff, lots of personals, and lots of community.  I don’t think this is necessarily bad, but certainly
    6. The Strategist – The content is college focused,  combines aspects of being a student helper, a lurker, a college booster and a smattering of the shotgun approach to their tweets.

    I am not quite sure if I will ever name names under the above categories, but is indeed evident to me from watching over the past five or six years the approach by different presents to using the tool is entirely different.

    Here are a couple of other observations

    1. I had a couple of ties in scoring, so I expanded the list this year to 20.  Maybe it stays that way, perhaps it doesn’t, but there was such a tight bunching in a couple of spots I just expanded it to 20.
    2. Steve Robinson’s #endccstigma is my favorite Twitter campaign by a community college president since starting this list. Thanks, President Robinson.
    3. I added nearly twice as many community college CEO’s (26) to the list the past two years than were tweeting in 2013-2014.
    4. Ten (10) Presidents who have been on my list have moved on to other things; eight have retired.
    5. One of the most interesting trends in my data relate to presidents (12) who once tweeted have stopped.  Some have simply quit tweeting. Others are still engaging (aka lurking) by following new people and liking tweets, but they have stopped sending out their own tweets.  It is clear that many are monitoring social media even if they are not engaged.
    6. Two presidents have substantially fewer tweets than last year, which means they deleted a portion of their tweets.  They are also among the ones who stopped tweeting. I suspect that subset had a little extra scrutiny over the content.  

    When I first published that list, there were only a dozen or so Community College Presidents Tweeting and only a half dozen doing it effectively.  I felt it was essential to support the effective use of the tool for community college leadership. That has changed and grown, and many community college CEOs who understand the benefits and power of social collaboration and how it’s used to communicate and collaborate with campus constituents.  The pioneers among Community College Presidents utilizing this mode of communication in my estimation were,  Anne Kress @MCCPresident,  Margeret McMenamin @drmcm, and Karen Stout @drkastout (no longer a president, but still tweeting about Achieve the Dream).  They were the subject of a blog post I wrote a few years back called, “My Three Tweeting Presidents” based on a presentation those three did at AACC.  Thanks for communicating with all of us. I for one appreciate your work.

    As for tweeting at @aacc here is the list of newcomers to my list followed by the entire list.  I hope this helps you in knowing which community college presidents to follow on Twitter. Happy tweeting to all of you.  I have learned so much from each of you. Thank you for sharing.

    New to the list for 2019:

    Here  is my entire list:

    JonBauer@ECCPresidentEast Central College Mo
    LindaLujan@DrLindaLujanLamar Community College
    JerryWeber@jweberbcBellevue Technical College

    Here are the additions to the list I have received from AACC 2019 which will be on my 2020 listing.

    Keith Curry@IamkeithcurryCompton College
    ScottRalls@WakeTechPrezWake Tech Prez
    Larry Ferguson@DrLarryFergusonAshland Community & Technical College
    Maureen Murphy@CSMPrezCollege of Southern Maryland
    Diana Doyle@PrezACCArapahoe Community College

    BrianAlbrecht@AlbrechtBryanGateway Technical College
    JoannaAnderson@SFCCpredientState Fair Community College
    DavidArmstrong@BrowardCPrezBroward College
    MarciaBallinger@PresBallingerLorain County Community College
    Jo AliceBlondin@clarkstatepresClark State Community College
    KevinBoys@ssccpresidentSouthern State Community College
    JonBauer@ECCPresidentEast Central College Mo
    MarkBrainard@DrMarkBrainardDelaware Tech CC
    ConstanceCarroll@carollscddcSan Diego Community College District
    ThomasChesney@ThomChesneyBrookhaven College
    JeanConway@jeanlconwayEastfield College
    JohnCox@CapeCodCCPrezCape Cod Community College
    CliffDavis@CliffDavisMOOzarks Technical Community College Table Rock Campus
    JeffDeFranco@jeffdefrancoLake Tahoe Community College
    DarrenDivine@CC_PrezOfficCasper College
    JohnDowney@brdownjBlue Ridge Community College
    CharleneDukes@pgccpresPrince George’s Community College
    KevinDrumm@PresidentDrummSUNY Broome Community College
    PamEddinger@PamEddingerBunker Hill Community College
    KimEnnis@BSCCPresidentBelvill State Community College
    JoyceEster@DrJoyceEsterNormandale Community College
    GlenFenter@presifentMid South Community College
    EveretteFreeman@EveretteCCDCommunity College of Denver
    MarkFrison@markfrisonof Assiniboine Community College
    PatGentile@NSCCPrezPatNorth Shore Community College
    CaroleGoldsmith@DrGoldsmith777Fresno City College
    StevenGonzales@gwccprezGateWay Community College
    MaryGraham@mgrahamMGCCCMS Gulf Coast Community College
    MargaretHamilton@margebernLane Community College
    DavidHarrison@DHarrisonCSCCColumbus State Community College
    TomHuebner@MCCHuebner ‏Meridian Community College
    DeneeceHuftalin@SLCCHuftalinSalt Lake Community College
    ThomasIsekenegbe@president_BCCBronx Community College
    JimJacobs@DrJimJacobsMacomb Community College
    JeffJochems@JeffJochems1Richwood Valley Campus, Ozarks Technical Community College
    AlexJohnson@triprezCuyahoga Community College in Cleveland
    StevenJohnson@sinclairprezSinclair Community College
    MichelleJohnston@RioPresidentRio Grande Community College
    ParaJones@PrezParaJonesStark State College
    AnneKress@MCCPresidentMonroe CC
    SandraKurtinitis@DrK_CCBC ‏Community College of Baltimore County in Maryland.
    TyjaunLee@MCCPVPresMetro Community College Kansas City Penn Valley
    DawnLindsay@AACC_DrLindsayAnne Arundel CC
    RussellLowery-hart@LoweryHart‏Amarillo College
    PamelaLuster@sdmesaprezSan Diego Mesa College
    LindaLujan@DrLindaLujanLamar Community College
    MargoMartin@margolynnmartinCollege of Southern Nevada
    JeremyMcMillen@GC_PresidentGrayson College
    JoeMay@ChancellorMayDallas County CC
    JamesMabry@PrezMabryMiddlesex Community College MA
    MargaretMcMenamin@drmcmUnion County Community College
    JenniferMethvin@methvinCrowderCrowder College
    MarkMitsui@prezmitsuiPortland Community College
    LorraineMorales@LLorraine0Pima Community College
    AmyMorrison Goings@LWTechPrezLake Washington Institute of Tech
    GrethenMullin Sawicki@CCACNorthPresCommunity College of Allegany County
    KindredMurillo@kindredmurilloSouthwestern College formerly Lake Tahoe Community College
    KirkNooks@PresidentNooksMetro Community College Kansas City Longview
    Lee AnnNutt@NuttsForTomball‏Lone Star CC
    ThuyNguyen@FoothillPrez‏Foothills College
    EloyOakley@EloyOakleyLong Beach Community College District
    JustinPate@JustonPateElizabethtown Community & Technical College
    DanielPhelan@dphelan59Jackson College
    DeRionnePollard@DrPollard_MCMontgomery College
    JohnRainone@dslccprezDabney S. Lancaster Community College
    LukeRobins@PC_PrezPeninsula College
    ChristinaRoyal@christinaroyal7 ‏Holyoke community College
    YvesSalomon-Fernandez@prezyvesGreenfield Community College was Cumberland County College (Incoming)
    RickShabazz@DrRickyShabazzSan Diego City College
    WilliamSerrata@WSerrataEl Paso Community College
    JohnSygielski@HACCSkiHACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College
    ChristaSlejko@prezSlejkoNorth Lake College
    ChristineSobek@WCCPresidentWaubonsee Community College
    JoeSopcich@JCCCprezJohnson County Community College
    DevinStephenson@DevinStephensonThree Rivers College/ Northwest Florida Community College
    BillyStewart@ECCCPresidentEast Central Community College
    TuesdayStanley@prezwcccWestmoreland County Community College
    TimStokes@tstokes3084South Puget Sound Community College
    LoriSundberg@Dr_LoriSundbergPresident Elect, Kirkwood Community College President Emeritus Carl Sandberg College
    J MichaelThompson@JMichaelThomsonCuyahoga Community College
    JerryWeber@jweberbcBellevue Technical College
    TerriWinfree@PSCpresidentPrairie State College
    SamiaYaqub@ButtePresidentButte Glenn Community College

  • The Jazz and the Blues of the ELive 2019 Executive forum

    The Jazz and the Blues of the ELive 2019 Executive forum
    elive executive forum 2019

    I was just thinking when I got my invite to evaluate the Executive Forum …… hmmm what are my takeaways this time? This was my 7th or 8th  Executive Forum, following a 15 run at a school that used a competing ERP product so I think I have some perspective on all of this.  What should I say that I didn’t say during the event on my Twitter Feed? Also, since we are in New Orleans I will frame my thoughts with a bit of a local flavor. I am both Jazzed by what I heard as well as having  a bit of the Blues. I will summarize my Key Takeaways and then explain (at least partially)

    1. Don’t be afraid of listening to new ideas.
    2. Always separate the individuals you are dealing with from the corporation.
    3. The effort to communicate accurately the direction of the company is much better than it was.
    4. The people you connect with are really what matters.
    5. You should disagree once in a while.

    I continue to understand more and more how ERP is like that 1958 horror flick “Beware of the Blob,” The basic setting and theme of the show was,

    Outside a small Pennsylvania town, a meteorite falls from the sky in the dead of night. From within emerges a gelatinous, alien mass – an organism that grows inside and threatens to consume everything in its path.     

    That is exactly what technology and ERP software looks like … an amorphus ever-expanding and all-consuming amoeba from outer space consisting of a bloated bureaucratic  mass. This mass without apparent shape or form gives you the  day-to-day grind of policy battles, firefighting and political encounters over the trival.  This really can start to cut you off from outside ideas and thinking. This is exactly why you come to this event in spite of any other factor I mention from this point forward.  This provides my Executive Forum TakeAway Number one.

    Don’t be afraid of listening to new ideas. You don’t even have to agree with all the ideas you hear but you should listen. If we all can actually get to where the success stories on stage are, you will be doing right by our students.  That is really the only true measure that matters….is what you are doing good for your students

    When you deal with a company as large as Ellucian entity seems it too can seem like the blob.  In the past I have been tossed here and yonder trying to resolve an issue and eventually in many cases have simply gone a different path.    I try to be open to the fabulous success stories that are presented on stage but when you leave the presentations and break bread with colleagues from across the country during the meals you often hear the frustration of the spotlight and stage rhetoric not lining up with your experience with the company.  

    My experience and / or observation is a revolving door of account execs, confusion over who my account rep is, RFPs not responded to,  service requests dragging out for months, being billed for attempting to scope a project.

    Yes the corporate right hand hasn’t always known what the corporate left hand was doing but in spite of those frustrations always treat the individuals in a civil manner.  I don’t recall ever meeting an individual employee who I did not like or who in their own way was not trying to do their best. Executive Forum TakeAway Number Two.

    Always separate the individuals you are dealing with from the corporation.

    When I attended my first elive the executive forum  it was downright ugly. The “event was cool ( That is the one that had for entertainment the full circus with a sword swallower, a fire eating dwarf, carnivalish stuff and more) but the executive forum was not.  I was sitting at a table with friends and colleagues from a huge Ellucian client. One slide came up about a change that was going to occur which would cost them millions upon millions of dollars. I thought my friends head was going to explode.  I don’t think the roadmaps and timetables we seen now are always accurate, but I do think there is an effort to get to a more accurate picture of the truth. Perfect? Not by a long shot, but much better than 7 or 8 years ago. Executive Forum TakeAway Number Three.

    The effort to communicate accurately the direction of the company is much better than it was.

    I really don’t care much about the technology anymore.  You might say, oh your just too busy writing books and telling stories (yes this link is my one shameless plug in this post for my books).  That isn’t it at all. It is all about people. I am usually impressed by the passion individual people have for their jobs and their commitment to doing a really good job for their institution or company.  This goes for people at the colleges and universities, Ellucian employees, consultants and vendors. There are people who have a passion for jobs I can’t imagine being passionate about. I appreciate and am thankful for each of these.  The most important people in this are the students. I have learned, the view you have to operate from is how does this impact impact your students and their ability to achieve their dreams. Executive Forum TakeAway Number Four.

    The people you connect with are really what matters.

    I hope I don’t always agree with everything I hear at this meeting.  It is important to retain independent thought. I sometimes think there is not enough diversity of thought and ideas presented.  I understand Ellucian is trying to sell product and inspire us and that they are passionate about the software and the possibilities , but the fact is, it isn’t going as smoothly at many institutions as the panelists and presenters make it appear.  Deploying all of this stuff is really really really hard even when it goes well and it is not going well for many. Executive Forum TakeAway Number Five.

    You should disagree once in a while.

    Other things to continue to think about.

    • Is rural in trouble
    • How do you stabilize your IT environment so that your end user community can bring their ideas to your organizational table and create and innovate
    • What is transformational technology?  

    I probably missed something, but those are my quick thoughts and takeaways.  I am Jazzed about somethings I saw and have the Blues about others. Additionally, all of this sometimes oozes together like the blob from that 1958 movie.  Don’t let it. Remember most people are just trying to do their job and what is best for students. Do what’s best for students and everything else will work out.

  • Preparing for Twitter as a Conference Presenter

    Preparing for Twitter as a Conference Presenter

    “Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail”

    Preparing for social media usage at a conference from the vantage point of  a presenter is a little different than as an attendee. Preparation is key if you want to enable your  audience to do the best job of sharing content from your session. If you want to share as a presenter, there are a few things you can do to make it easier for those attendees sharing via social media.  

    Let People Know You are Coming. Share your presentation topic and your enthusiasm for said topic. Also provide logistics such as when and where the event is happening.

    Provide your Twitter handle. You can help people do a good job tweeting your presentation by providing them your Twitter handle at the beginning of the session.  Provide your handle in your opening remarks and on your first slide. If you’re not on Twitter, it’s worth thinking about signing up, just so people can provide attribution for your work.

    Could you tweet that please

    Provide the Conference Hashtag and Session Hashtag. Again, provide these at the beginning of your session to make it easier to share. Of course if they don’t know your conference hashtag by the time they are at your session it probably not going to matter anyway.

    Upload your presentation to your website.  People often want a copy of your presentation.  You can go through the ol’ business card trading ritual  and email it…or you can prepare in advance. Upload your presentation to your website and then use a URL shortening tool such as:  

    You can present them at the beginning with your twitter handle.  You can also provide them in a closing slide which allows attendees to easily tweet your session materials for others to access.   If you have uploaded the presentation to your conference web site share it prior the conference and during the conference with the conference hashtag.  

    Don’t be the person who says….I know you can’t read this but….. The ending of this statement is either “I like myself so much I am going to show you illegible garbage anyway. ” or “I was too lazy to find a way to make this meaningful to my audience.” Use large strong visuals such as charts and tables to quickly explain the data at the heart of your presentation. Attendees are always looking for insight, sound bites, and key takeaways

    Encourage Questions via Twitter  To take questions via twitter you may need a  device other than the one you’re presenting from with a tool such as Hootsuite which allows you to watch one or more twitter streams.  With the stream for your conference easily accessible you can watch for questions related to your session. There is a little bit of multitasking required if you are presenting alone, but it is doable.  Some people have no problem asking questions during a session, but sometimes using twitter you will get questions from a person who is unwilling to speak up in a crowd. If you have a co presenter, you can coordinate who will watch the twitter stream for questions.  I do acknowledge not all speakers do want to share outside of the confines of the meeting room.  However, extensive sharing via social media is becoming more and more commonplace.  The more prepared you are, the better the experience will be for those attending your session.

    Have someone live tweet your session to share your content. Interested people can follow the back channel even if they’re not in attendance. I often have people ask me live tweet sessions. You need to assume that someone is interested in listening to yours.  

    Expect to be tweeted. Twitter is used extensively at event and conferences these days. People assume that tweeting is fine unless they are specifically asked not to tweet. For example, I have been in sessions with specific vendors where they give you a sneak peek at a new technology.  Knowing I am a prolific event tweeter they have asked not to tweet a particular part of a discussion or presentation. If you are asked to not tweet a session, don’t. Show respect to those who wish not to be tweeted.

  • 10…no 11 Reasons to Tweet at #elive19

    10…no 11 Reasons to Tweet at #elive19

    This is first time I have updated this post since I started writing and publishing books. I has always “10 Reason” but I added an 11th entry because it is important. Enjoy!

    Elive Twitter Acitivty 2015 to 2018
    Ellucian live Twitter Activity 2015-2018

    I started tweeting at events when I realized that I was spending as much time and effort tweeting out the most relevant points of the session I was in as I spent taking notes – plus, the notes I took were less relevant than my tweets, since I was only tweeting out the best parts!  Tweeting at conferences has allowed me and others to share info from sessions we may not have been able to attend. Once I committed to live tweeting conferences, I got a lot of great, positive feedback about it from other attendees. I have had many people come up to me and say

    “Hello @kentbrooks”  

    It has been a great way to meet other conference attendees and more. Here is a summary of my top reasons to Tweet at a conference

    Reasons to Tweet at a Conference

    1. Take Conference Notes … I type faster than I write.
    2. Archive Conference Notes…  The Archive is immediate and public.
    3. Share Conference Notes… Just point people to your Twitter Feed.
    4. Build a Personal Learning Network PLN… This goes beyond people you meet at the conference. People not attending the conference will be following the the back channel and you will make connections there as well.
    5. Meet Fellow Attendees… Whether the conference is small or large, finding a way to connect is the most valuable part of any conference.  
    6. Gain Insight to Some of Your Own Thoughts... After the conference I can go back through thread to review important items.
    7. Share Resources… Links, images and people to follow all will become part of your social conference experience.
    8. Allows you to Summarize Important Points140 280 characters at a time forces concisness. This helps me evaluate my understanding (or lack there of) of a conference session.  
    9. Learn from Sessions held Simultaneously…I can partially remove my frustration at not being able to to attend 3 or 4 conference tracks at a time since I can glean ideas, links and comments  from different sessions.
    10.  It helps me Confirm I am in the Right Session…Keeping an eye on the twitter stream allows me to head to a different simultaneous session if the topic in another sessions turns out to be more directly related to my work, if I am unsure of a certain content or if the session just stinks.  (This may be rude, but with limited travel $$$ we have to make the most of any conference and glean the very best ideas from sessions we attend).
    11. It is simply a lot of fun. Conference tweeting should be fun, empowering and inspiring. It should create opportunities for interaction. It’s all about engagement, community building and enhancing participation in the event.

    Amazing, isn’t it…technology humanizing the experience of a live gathering of people.

  • AACC 2017 Review: I found people who would fight for the hope of me"

    I found people who would fight for the hope of me.

    -Wes Moore, AACC 2017  Opening Keynote

    I personally had a really great AACC meeting for the following reasons:

      1. Wes Moore’s keynote and the quote above set the tone for me. I think he nailed it. That is what community colleges do.  They fight for the hope of individuals who come through their doors.  A great reminder.
    1. My presentation  went great and I do love telling about our experience with Classlink. I even got fun feedback such as this…

    Anything that combines Johnny Cash and student success is a winner in my book! Love the vision and call to action here.

    Here is my Prezi:

    As an added bonus the focus of my talk was featured on the Education Dive Website and they said:

    Providing students with a highly personalized matriculation experience may have more benefits than just providing a shiny-new-toy in an institution’s slate of offerings: It could actually help improve retention and boost graduation rates. Imagine if a student could get app-based advising or career advice from off-site or after-hours to supplement the often formulaic advising that comes with the required face-to-face check-ins. Or the impact phone notifications alerting one to lab availability could have on success in a given course. The ability to combine personalized learning with intrusive advising and allow students to customize their collegiate experiences based on their own preferences could be a game-changer.

      1. I had coffee with my former boss and retired president Walt Nolte,
      1. I saw several other old friends and made a few new ones,
      1. Got a picture with the Ferrari at the Ferrelli booth (too bad I didn’t win the Ferrari for a day drawing but I am excited for Chris Murphy at NE Mississippi CC)

        Ferelli Ferrai
      1. I removed additional ‘dumbness’ from my head about Pathways thanks to the gifted people dedicated to improving people’s lives when they come to the community colleg
      1. The twitter action went well and people were really engaged(see my Twitter stuff below……..and
    1. I left frustrated to a great degree.   I am not frustrated by all the cool stuff I just mentioned, but rather about my connection to the successful implementation of the Pathways concept.

    Basically, Pathways is a Bill & Melinda Gates – funded effort to design and implements structured academic and career pathways at scale. The thing that frustrates me more than anything was ever present at each session I attended.   I sat in session after session that talked about three legs of this which in some form revolve around people, process, and technology.   
    In every single case the bottleneck to doing this is technology at at some point in the process…the bottleneck is all about these crappy antiquated ERPs.   
    The mindset of many associated with rolling our ERP systems doesn’t help either in my view.  They are at least to a degree satisfied with the existing enterprise model.  We really should be providing college APIs, and one click summarys.  In these sessions I saw time after time where the Pathways model is being implemented
    This makes me think of the old Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin western Paint your Wagons.   In that film there was a song….

    Way out here they got a name for everything
    For rain and wind and fire
    The rain is Tess, the fire’s Joe
    And they call the wind Maria

    NOTE: This may be correct or maybe not because I suffer from ailment known as “lyricosis”  It is a condition in which one can’t really remember the sequence of lyrics in a song and so you just start making stuff up.    
    So how does this song fit in?  ERP is Joe, and if Joe is ‘fire’ then ERP in higher Ed is on fire.  The financial part of ERP is unsustainable and there are no really new options in the marketplace or on the horizon.  
    CC’s are in the political spotlight now…  I guess where K12 failed with common core, there’s now a focus on systemically fixing education outcomes through CC’s. What a great opportunity…and burden.  This is where my rub is at this point.
    The ERP Vendors are so big and complicated that I don’t know if we can get past them in any timely fashion. The whole higher ed ERP market is totally broken in my view as well as financially unsustainable (Read my Kuali blogs where the primary theme is the use of public money to finance a startup if you want to know more about how dysfunctional the higher ed ERP marketplace is)   Huge problem.
    Twitter Stuff
    If you missed it here is my 2017 list of Must Follow Community College CEOs on Twitter

    I have been capturing conference Twitter data for several years and AACC is one of those conferences.  
    AACC 2017 Overall Twitter Activity

    Here is how some of the Twitter Activity has varied from 2013 to now.

    Retweets show what people find interesting. Here is the AACC 2017  listing:
    Day 1

    Day 2

    Day 3

    Day 4

    I am sure there is more I should talk about but I need to move on to other things for now.  

  • The Magic of the Conference Hashtag: An Ellucian Live Primer #elive17

    The Magic of the Conference Hashtag: An Ellucian Live Primer #elive17

    For me…Twitter is another way for this “wee acorn” to mingle with the “giant oaks” of my profession.

    What is a Hashtag?

    In general, a hashtag is a word or phrase used in social media conversations which begin with a pound (#) sign and which are written without spaces in between. i.e. #kentbrooks.   The main use of a hashtag is to bring conversations on the same topic into a single thread to make it convenient for interested individuals to view and compare ideas.  Twitter is not the only platform that uses hashtags.  This humble little guy is used by Facebook,Google+,  Tumblr and Instagram. It is likely important to note that LinkedIn is one the major social platforms which does not use hashtags.   Chris Messina is credited with being the first to propose using the hashtag to aggregate topics of interest.    Messina’s 2007 hashtag proposal is shown below:
    chris messina tweet which started the hashtag as an aggregator -2016-04-09-08.50.45

    Conference hashtags which I have seen and tracked include:

    #elive17 Ellucian Live 2017 Annual User Conference
    #innama  League for Innovation at the Community College 2015
    #aaccannual  2014 American Association of Community Colleges
    #NACCE2013 National Association of Community College Entrepaneurs 2013
    #edu13 Educause 2013
    #broadbandwyo  Wyoming Broadband Summit
    #mtmoot = Mountain Moodle Moot

    The primary hashtag for Ellucian Live 2017:


    Other hashtags you may use depending upon the tweet at Ellucian Live 2017:


    Examples of how to use

    You would tell people you are looking forward to the Ellucian Live 2017 conference  by tweeting something like this:
    sample use of a conference hashtag-2017-03-19-07.58.18
    Traditionally Twitter is the 140 character messenger tool.  Forget for a moment that longer tweets are now allowed just for a moment (and probably for the whole conference as long tweets usually make no sense in a conference setting).  First, notice the character count shows I still have 70 of my 140 characters available.  My experience tells me to leave at least a dozen characters unused.  If you use all 140 characters in your tweet, your followers will need to edit your tweets before they can add in their comments and retweet.  I have seen various studies that indicate that you get 15– 20% more engagement with shorter tweets and Twitter indicates that that tweets under 100 characters see a higher engagement rate.
    A conference hashtag allows conference attendees to interact during the event.  You also commonly see hashtags used during other live events such as sporting events or political events.
    One of my favorite resources for finding out what are the most popular hashtags at a given time is found at It has both a free and a paid service.  the free service shows what is trending over the past 24 hours. With the paid service you can also store and monitor hashtags over time.
    Another service which is owned by Hootsuite also provides a great resource for finding hashtag trends is What the Trend.  They not only tell you what is trending but they also provide a quick explanation of why it’s trending.

    How Hashtags Are Created?

    It doesn’t take fancy tools to apply a hashtag to your messages. All you need to do is type your text and then insert the hashtag at any part of the message and then send. Of course, the hashtag is not just any word. It has to be a carefully thought target keyword that is relatable, so that other Twitter users will be inspired to use it for their own, as well.
    When the hashtag you’ve created has developed a following, clicking on it will lead you to the list of Twitter users who have adopted it in their own conversations. You can also communicate with newfound Twitter friends through here. In a way, an effective hashtag creates a community online. They are also great for monitoring visibility of your message on multiple social media networks.
    There are certain letters and characters that are not allowed for use with hashtags. For example, if all the characters in your hashtag are numbers, as with #1234, it won’t work. You can read more about what you cannot do with hashtags on What Is Not Allowed With Hashtags.

    Tips On Making And Using Hashtags

    Here are some tips to make sure the hashtags you’re using are achieving their objectives.

    1. Is the hashtag new? will lead you to a list of hashtags that have already been used in the past or are currently active. If you find an existing conversation on the hashtag you’re eyeing, you might want to go with something that is equally targetted but not as frequently used.

    2. Go easy on the sentiments.

    Some hashtags have failed to fly because they poked too much on the emotion of the public, as with the word ‘love’ or ‘hate’. These two are too strong words to summon so if you’re going to use them to create a following, make sure that there really is a large sense of love or hate for the topic. Politicians have often used ‘love’ to start a Twitter thread on them and found the results ineffective and downright disappointing.

    3. Use industry keywords.

    Brands and popular industry terms are highly relatable and, more likely than not, Twitter users will find use for such hashtags in a particular event. The controversial hashtag #NBCFail for instance may not have been actively searched by Twitter users but the fact that it carried a brand name made it easy to micro-bloggers to jump in and create a massive conversation around it.

    4. Be careful where you use your hashtags.

    Designer Kenneth Cole (@KennethCole) made a huge blunder in 2011 when he inserted the #Cairo hashtag in the same message he was promoting his newest collection.
    The tweet read: “Million are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at httpL// -KC”.
    After much backlash from the public, Cole has removed the offending tweet and issued an apology on his Facebook Page.
    Hashtag abuse is not uncommon, although with proper etiquette orientation it should be out of conversations entirely.

    Here’s Twitter‘s official statement on hashtag abuse.

    “The following behaviors and others like them could cause your account to be filtered from search, or even suspended:

      • Adding one or more topic/hashtag to an unrelated tweet in an attempt to gain attention in search.
      • Repeatedly tweeting the same topic/hashtag without adding value to the conversation in an attempt to get the topic trending/trending higher.
      • Tweeting about each trending topic in turn in order to drive traffic to your profile, especially when mixed with advertising.
      • Listing the trending topics in combination with a request to be followed.
    • Tweeting about a trending topic and posting a misleading link to something unrelated.”

    I am looking forward to engaging in Meaningful Social Conversations with you at Elive 2017.  Every time I get to thinking I am way behind with all of this technology stuff I get a question that reminds me that most of us are struggling to adapt to this hyper-connected world of ours.  We are just at different levels and ultimately we need each other.  As long as we continue to learn and continue to help each other we will be OK.  See you in Orlando.
    Check out some of my other posts on conference tweeting and learn who to follow at the Elive 2017 conference:

    Like local history?  Check out my local history blog about the plains of Southeast Colorado at
    Old views when this was on my old tech blog.
    This post has already been read 952 times!
    This move to the new host had 3204 post views for a total of 4156 views

  • RCCA Keynote 2016: Never Rest on Your Technology Laurels: Community College Trends for the Future

    Never Rest on Your Technology Laurels: Community College Trends for the Future is a look at issues which will impact the deployment of technology at the rural community college. Thanks to the Rural Community College Alliance and Dr. Randy Smith for allowing me to share my thoughts on this topic as the closing keynote address for their 2016 Annual conference in Orange Beach Alabama.  For some reason, I couldn’t get the Prezi Embed to work correctly at first but here it is.


  • Change is in the Air

    Change is in the air.  Thanks for your patience while we tidy up a bit. My archives will soon be available again.  If you want to see anything sooner it is available (minus many images) at*/
    Wayback archive of old kentbrooks dot com site

  • Top 20 Tweeters at AACC Annual Through Wednesday April 9, 2014

    Meaningful social collisions are still flying of the devices for AACC Annual.  If you didn’t become engaged in the conversation here are some resources to help during your next conference or event:

    1.  Intro to Twitter for Attendees at the 94th Annual AACC 2014 Conference
    2. 10 Reasons to Tweet at a Conference
    3.  Could you Tweet that Please:  Twitter Tips for Conference Presenters
    4. 8 Tips for Using Twitter to Create Engagement at a Conference

    Here are the Top Twenty Tweeters (The Triple T Club) at AACC Annual 2014 through Wed April 9.   Again some of our most social presidents are also on the list. If you haven’t followed some of these folks maybe now is the time.  I would love to hear from you on your favorite, most useful or most insightful Tweet so far.  Either Tweet me at @kentbrooks or post to the comments here:

    Through Wednesday April 9, 2014

    I will be looking at this data over the next few days and do a few comparisons from last year.  Looks like it was a great conference.  Thanks for all the engagement.  I hope I can make it next year.
    Finally, below  is another look at the “Must Follow” Community College CEO’s on Twitter.  We have added a few extras in the blog posts over the past week.  They are well worth following as well if you are a community college practitioner.  Have a great day.
    April 9, 2014 | Filed under: BI, Social Media, Twitter and tagged with: , , , ,
    Other Twitter Blog Posts by Kent Brooks:

    That’s all for now.  See you in San Antonio. (2345)
    This post has already been read 2304 times! + 8667 views from present host